There has long been much debate about whether older domain names rank higher simply by age or more by having more chance of being indexed, linked and found, but even after Google’s most recent changes, the general consensus still appears to be that an older domain name can help with your search engine ranking.

To get the best value out of an old domain name however, remember that SEO is a package of tools. An old domain without an track history may be limited in worth but an old domain with a strong existing PageRank, a set of worthy backlinks and a track record of traffic becomes very valuable, but equally will be reflected in the cost if you are looking to buy a domain.

So let’s have a look at how the various factors may affect whether or not you buy an older domain name:


A targeted keyword in a domain name can be a massive boost to site rankings and with often limited availability of those in the first-come-first-served market of domain names, a ‘previously-owned’ domain offers a chance to tap into that potential. Equally it may be the best domain to match your branding is not longer available new, but it may well be owned by another who has yet put it to proper use and may even be keen to sell for the right price.

Quicker results

Many experts now suggest that it is far more difficult for new websites to achieve decent rankings on Google. This may or may not have a scientific reason, but with more domains than ever an older domain with an existing ranking is easier to push up the list from lower down than jump straight in. In addition, an older domain is more likely to have more Google trust and organically good rankings for keywords that can quickly be tapped into.


Many domainers will constantly cite PR as their measure as to how valuable a domain is. In specific terms they are referring to Page Rank, so where the domain ranks on the search engine lists, but more generally it can also apply to Public Relations. The more popular the domain the more value it has. That is important not only to help you work out the value of a domain you are considering buying, but also as to the value of any advertising you may be able to sell on the site once you own it. In terms of attractiveness to would-be advertisers, a top page ranking is a lot more appealing than one several pages on which is unlikely to attract their money.

Link value

Google’s new focus on the need for relevant and quality links has made this factor even more important. A domain name with a batch of authoritative links to sites relevant to the content you want to push, has great value in the Google-sphere. Equally, quality is the important measure as quantity may actually have a negative impact if the links are deemed irrelevant to the content on the site.


Heavy traffic domain names obviously come at a premium, but they can offer obvious benefits. It’s a bit like buying a ready planted flower garden compared to planting the seeds yourself which is the standard approach of buying a new domain name. However, be sure you know what traffic you are buying into. Is it still relevant to what you want to put the domain to use for? Traffic can go down as well as up, so make sure you know exactly what is driving that traffic there before you invest.

Once of the biggest fears of those looking to buy a second-hand domain is that they may fall foul of a scam. What if the seller doesn’t actually own that domain? what if the statistics provided are just wrong? If you’ve searched for a domain name  recently on 123-reg you will have seen we now offer premium domain names as alternatives to your initial search. Our premium domain names are all domains previously purchased by someone that they are now selling for a set price via our premium domain partner. While not every domain listed will be aged, the chances they have some additional ‘age’ value over a new domain name as well as the usual ‘catchy’ nature of premium domains. So if you want to find the best way of tapping into the value of older domain names, our Premium domain offerings are a great first point of call and you can be sure the seller is legitimate leaving you with at least one less worry.

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